Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

Breaking the cycle of crime

1.The Committee’s visit to the Brandon Estate showed that communities often have a good understanding of the challenges they face, and the positive role that sport and culture can play in changing the life chances of young people. How then can we fund initiatives from the cash rich world of elite sport to support these organisations? The Government should consider how funding can be made available to community initiatives and organisations to create targeted interventions to help young people who are risk of becoming involved in or the victims of criminal activity. And experienced groups such as Clinks, a membership body for voluntary organisations in the criminal justice sector, might be well-placed to administer such a funding scheme, for instance. (Paragraph 17)

2.The delay in publishing the independent review of sport in youth and adult prisons demonstrates the precarious political capital invested in sport and criminal justice. The life-changing opportunities offered by sport like those afforded to John McAvoy cannot be left to chance. There is a suspicion that Government is influenced still by wariness of press headlines suggesting that use of sport in the justice system is inappropriate. The Government must rebut robustly these suggestions. The Ministry of Justice should establish permanent cross-government structures to focus action on sport and criminal justice, and add this to the list of ministerial responsibilities in the Department. (Paragraph 34)

3.During 2019, the Government has committed to monitor progress on the recommendations made in Professor Meek’s report. This work should involve both the MoJ and DCMS and also be subject to independent scrutiny. It is regrettable that coverage of this wide-ranging review was overshadowed by press leaks about one aspect–the potential role of boxing and martial arts in prisons. Rather than rejecting the suggestion out of hand, the review should also include a comprehensive evaluation of their place among other sports helping rehabilitation and stopping re-offending, both within the prison estate and in the community. (Paragraph 35)

4.Violent incidents in prisons appear to be at an all-time high and the report’s recommendations reflect the need to consider alternative violence reduction strategies. Given the positive impact of boxing and martial arts programmes in our communities, as reflected in the evidence we have received, prison governors should be given the option of using similar approaches in their establishments, if they so wish. The review should also identify the measures needed to more systematically harness the significant contribution that sporting clubs are making to reducing reoffending in their communities. It is vital, in particular, that MoJ and HM Prison and Probation Service provides the leadership to make wide-ranging and high quality sports and physical education provision a reality—including effective liaison with local clubs and national initiatives—with a senior prison manager taking responsibility at each establishment. (Paragraph 36)

5.In January, 2019, HM Prison and Probation Service updated its ‘Strategic Review of Physical Education in Prisons’. Welcome as this was, this replicates a number of Professor Meek’s recommendations, without acknowledging the ‘A Sporting Chance’ report at all. This is a missed opportunity to demonstrate joined-up working and underlines the importance of independent scrutiny to monitor substantive progress in the prison establishment. (Paragraph 37)

6.The Ministry of Justice should work with the Home Office, DCMS, Department of Health and DfE to establish the best way to create a nationwide equivalent to the Mayor of London’s map of activities for young people, which could help them to find sporting development opportunities and positive role models. (Paragraph 38)

7.The DCMS has recognised the role of the arts in reducing reoffending, but the Department’s activity in this area is far less developed than the work championing the role of sport in tackling criminality. This is despite the existence of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, an umbrella organisation representing a large number of groups operating in this sphere. We recommend the DCMS and MoJ jointly commission a review of arts in the prison estate, along a similar model to Professor Meek’s review of sport in youth and adult prisons discussed in Chapter 2. (Paragraph 47)

8.The DCMS and Arts Council England should also work with cultural organisations, including National Portfolio organisations to collate and develop the evidence base for the role that the arts can play in behaviour change, reducing reoffending and rehabilitating offenders. (Paragraph 48)

Creating opportunities through education

9.We are deeply concerned by the evidence we received around the downgrading of arts subjects in schools, with all the consequent implications for children’s development, wellbeing, experiences, careers and, ultimately, life chances. It is not enough for the DCMS and DfE to simply expect schools to provide a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’: they need to take action to ensure that this is actually happening. The Government has not shied away from a prescriptive approach to other facets of education policy, for example specifying which times tables primary school children need to learn.(Paragraph 74)

10.There is also evidence from Wales that, with pressure on schools budgets, it is not just in England that down grading of arts subjects in schools has occurred and long established support for music services has declined in recent years. (Paragraph 75)

11.This is the area in our broad-ranging inquiry where there was the largest gap between government’s policy intentions and statements and the lived experience of organisations submitting evidence. This gap urgently needs to be closed, including through a clear explanation from the DfE and the DCMS of the figures on cultural education that they hold, and why these seem to differ from those used by cultural organisations concerned about arts education. The DfE should also set out how schools can find out about inspirational approaches such as that taken by Feversham Primary Academy. (Paragraph 76)

12.The Education Minister told us that Ofsted will be ‘strengthening’ its inspection regime during 2019. The DfE and DCMS should work alongside Ofsted to design an inspection regime for primary and secondary schools that measures the volume of cultural education; the integration of cultural education with other areas of the curriculum; and the universality of schools’ cultural offers in ensuring that all children have access to the benefits that cultural participation can bring. The DfE should make sure that case studies sharing the experiences and results of schools like Feversham are readily available for other headteachers and leaders in education. (Paragraph 77)

13.The Minister for School Standards told us he wanted to see an increase in the number of pupils taking arts subjects at GCSE and A Level. The best way to ensure that this happens is to add these subjects to the EBacc, as recommended in our recent Live Music Inquiry and by our predecessor committee in 2013 in its Supporting the Creative Economy inquiry. (Paragraph 78)

14.We re-iterate the conclusions from our Live Music Report in respect of music education, in schools and through Music Hubs, and look forward to the Government’s response. We remain deeply concerned about the gap between the Government’s reassuring rhetoric and the evidence presented to us of the decline in music provision in state schools, for which the Ebacc is blamed and which affects students from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds disproportionately. We commend, therefore, the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education in pursuing these issues further and would welcome sight of the Government’s response to each of the 18 recommendations in its recent report ‘Music Education: State of the Nation’. (Paragraph 79)

15.Whilst high rates of childhood obesity, coupled with low levels of physical activity, are rightly the policy driver for sport in education, it is important for the DCMS to champion the wider benefits including tackling social exclusion, supporting employability and increasing educational attainment. (Paragraph 92)

16.While we welcome the forthcoming school sport and activity action plan, the Government must ensure that this does not simply perpetuate existing fragmentation between school and out of school sport. The DCMS and DfE should also ensure the plan emphasises the wider benefits of sport to children and young people, and highlights best practice evidence. (Paragraph 93)

17.The Government should commit to extend funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium beyond 2020. The DCMS and DfE should work with Ofsted to ensure that their new inspection framework assesses how this money is used to further the widest social impact that sport can have on children, as well as contributing to tackling childhood obesity. (Paragraph 94)

Improving health and wellbeing

18.The full health impacts of cultural programmes are far from being reached. The DCMS should take the opportunity of the expansion of social prescribing to work with the Department of Health and Social Care to test how far prescription of arts and sports interventions can be mainstreamed in the 23 areas; to develop closer links between commissioning decisions and arts and sports programmes and organisations; and to assess how self-reported wellbeing can be better integrated into health commissioning processes. At present, there appears to be little collection of evidence by Government of the cumulative benefit of cultural programmes, despite the enthusiasm of the organisations who have seen huge benefits. (Paragraph 106)

19.The DCMS and DHSC should ensure that NHS England’s forthcoming outcomes framework and guidance on social prescribing includes information about the power of arts and sporting interventions to improve both physical and mental health, and work to extend the availability of cultural benefits to more people affected by such conditions. The DCMS should track the evidence base on cost effectiveness that develops as a result of the use of this guidance. (Paragraph 107)

20.We reiterate our earlier recommendation about the importance of Government support for social prescribing. We also recommend that DCMS approach sporting organisations to encourage their participation in social prescribing schemes, which can go beyond physical health benefits to include social impacts such as tackling loneliness. (Paragraph 117)

Regenerating communities

21.We heard about the success stories that City of Culture initiatives can generate, including additional funding from the DCMS, Arts Council England and other sources. But these initiatives shouldn’t just be limited to forward-thinking local authorities and communities. (Paragraph 126)

22.The bidding process for UK City of Culture is creating real benefits for the communities that take part, and not just for the winning entries. The Government should consider how towns and more rural communities can be incentivised to work together to develop strategies for culturally led regeneration. We welcome the recent suggestion of a “Town of Culture” award to extend to towns the proven concept of a cultural benefit to communities of artistic activity. (Paragraph 127)

23.Local Enterprise Partnerships should be required to identify opportunities for cultural and creative industries led regeneration as part of their local growth strategies. (Paragraph 128)

24.We recommend that DCMS commission organisations who have been in the vanguard of culture-based regeneration to produce detailed guidance and best practice for local authorities at city, town and borough levels on how they can leverage culture to revitalise their areas, irrespective of whether they have benefitted from specific funding to do so. (Paragraph 129)

25.Ahead of Coventry’s City of Culture in 2021 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, the DCMS should set out detailed policy and funding structures for building a lasting legacy in the West Midlands. In its response to this Report, the DCMS should also detail how they will use these opportunities to showcase the wider social impact of investment in culture and sport, make the case for public investment in culture and sport, and work with local partners to champion lasting change. (Paragraph 134)

26.Any further evaluation of major cultural or sporting events commissioned by the DCMS should include an assessment of whether the integrated approach used for these exceptional situations could and should be replicated in routine policymaking structures. (Paragraph 135)

Maximising social impact

27.During 2019, the DCMS should establish and lead a new standing inter-ministerial group on the social impact of sport and culture, using this as a platform to reset cross-government work with these sectors. The priorities for this new group should encompass the issues that we have identified in our report, including health, education, criminal justice and regeneration. (Paragraph 141)

28.Rather than making any further calls to strengthen the evidence base for the social impact of culture and sport, we recommend that DCMS audit what has changed as a result of the work that they have already funded, or been involved in. The Department should work with charitable foundations, academics and others to comprehensively understand, and champion, the current evidence base, and publish their findings within the next 12 months. (Paragraph 144)

29.The refreshed Sporting Future strategy is an ideal opportunity for the Sports Minister to truly galvanise cross-government involvement in maximising the social impact of sport. While we accept that machinery of Government changes may not be the right mechanism, we support the calls made during our inquiry for sport to have a higher profile across Whitehall. We recommend that the DCMS establishes a pan-department ministerial implementation taskforce for the refreshed Sporting Future strategy before the end of 2019. We expect to see further details of how this will operate in the Government’s response to this Report. (Paragraph 153)

30.The DCMS should conduct a review of the funding streams offered by Arts Council England, Sport England and other statutory bodies funding culture and sport organisations to explore if they can move to a more long-term and sustainable approach. (Paragraph 157)

31.The work that the DCMS is leading to bring social value into central government commissioning should include explicit consideration of the social value delivered by cultural and sporting organisations. The Department should build on existing evaluation frameworks in the sectors and ensure that their social value work connects cultural and sports organisations more readily to commissioners. (Paragraph 158)

Published: 14 May 2019